Dillon, Nemeth Game-time Decisions for Stars; Getzlaf Game-time Decision for Ducks

Friday, 04.25.2014 / 3:43 PM CT / Inside Edge
By Mark Stepneski
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Dillon, Nemeth Game-time Decisions for Stars; Getzlaf Game-time Decision for Ducks

Stars defensemen Brenden Dillon and Patrik Nemeth are still question marks heading into tonight’s pivotal Game 5 against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center.

Both players took part in this morning’s skate. Dillon, who has yet to play in the playoffs, skated on the fourth defensive pair and is a game-time decision.

“He looks pretty good to me,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We’ll check with the trainer and see where he is at after. He hasn’t had a demanding practice yet, but he’s working and he’s real close to it.”

Dillon is hopeful he gets in tonight, and joked that he’s been on his best behavior all week to tilt things his way.

“It’s just getting the OK. I’ve wanted to play since Game 1. It’s just getting cleared to go and I am feeling better to go,” Dillon said. "I think Sunday (Game 6) is probably more realistic, but at the same time, if I can get in tonight, I want to get in. I've been trying to get better and show that I can play.

“My fingers are crossed. I was good on Easter Sunday, getting my prayers in.”

Nemeth, who left Wednesday’s game after the first period with an upper body injury, skated on a pair with Jordie Benn this morning, but Ruff said he is still a question mark for tonight.

“He’s still not a full go yet,” said Ruff. “He’s still questionable for tonight.”

Ruff said he’ll skate seven defensemen tonight in warm ups and then a decision will be made.

It doesn’t appear there will be any changes among the forwards, meaning that Erik Cole will be scratched for a third straight game.

Kari Lehtonen, who stopped 58 of 60 shots in winning both his starts in Dallas, gets the nod in goal for the Stars tonight.

With the series tied 2-2, tonight’s game is a big one for both teams. For the Stars, it’s an opportunity to keep rolling in the series and take home-ice advantage away from the Ducks, who are looking to get back on track after dropping both games in Dallas.

“It’s a real big opportunity for us,” Ruff said. “We’re going to see their best game. The series is down to the best of the three. They’ve had pretty good success here at home and we haven’t won here yet. But at the same time we can have a little risk and reward tonight where we can get after this. We know they are going to play well and we are not going to play a safe game.”

Ducks watch: Getzlaf questionable, Selanne back in, Andersen stays in goal

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf, who missed Wednesday’s game with an upper body injury, skated this morning and is questionable for tonight’s Game 5.

“We'll see tonight," Getzlaf said. “This is part of our process that we're going through right now. I won't really know until game time tonight.”

Teemu Selanne, who was a healthy scratch the last game, will be in as well. Selanne said he is ready to move forward from being scratched.

“I’m very excited,” Selanne said. “I’m a very positive guy, and it wasn’t the end of the world. It’s a new opportunity today and there are no hard feelings. It’s a business. It’ll be fun.”

Defenseman Luca Sbisa, who hasn’t played yet in the playoffs, could be in the lineup tonight as well.

“There's a good chance he's in,” said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. “He's got experience and he's played in these games before. He can be a physical defenseman when needed. He's had a rough year because of injuries, but when he's been at his best, he's a top-four defenseman. We're hoping that's going to happen tonight.”

Frederik Andersen, who had a rough start in Dallas on Wednesday, will be in goal again Friday night and got a vote of confidence from his head coach.

“That might’ve been his first bad game in an awful long time,” Boudreau said. “But I think he’ll bounce back and do a real good job tonight. I think he knows I have full confidence in him.”

Tonight’s game

Who: Dallas Stars at Anaheim Ducks
What: Game 5, 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim
When: 9:30 p.m.
Local TV: Fox Sports Southwest
National TV: NBC Sports Network, TSN
Radio: The Ticket 1310 AM/96.7 FM

Stars projected lineup

Jamie BennTyler Seguin- Alex Chiasson
Antoine RousselCody EakinRyan Garbutt
Shawn HorcoffVernon FiddlerColton Sceviour
Ray WhitneyChris MuellerValeri Nichushkin

Alex GoligoskiTrevor Daley
Patrik Nemeth (questionable) – Jordie Benn
Kevin ConnautonSergei Gonchar
Brenden Dillon (questionable)

Kari Lehtonen
Tim Thomas

Scratched: Erik Cole, Dustin Jeffrey, Aaron Rome

Injured: Rich Peverley (irregular heartbeat)

Ducks projected lineup

Devante Smith-Pelly – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Jakob Silfverberg – Saku Koivu – Andrew Cogliano
Patrick Maroon – Mathieu Perreault – Teemu Selanne
Daniel Winnik - Nick Bonino – Kyle Palmieri

Luca Sbisa – Francois Beauchemin
Cam Fowler – Ben Lovejoy
Bryan Allen – Mark Fistric

Frederik Andersen
Jonas Hiller

Scratched: Hampus Lindholm, Rickard Rakell, Emerson Etem

Injured: Matt Beleskey (lower body), Stephane Robidas (leg), Tim Jackman (hand)

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Benn 6 4 6 5 10
J. Spezza 6 4 5 1 9
P. Eaves 6 2 3 3 5
P. Sharp 6 3 1 0 4
C. Eakin 6 0 4 1 4
A. Goligoski 6 2 1 -4 3
J. Klingberg 6 1 2 -3 3
A. Hemsky 6 1 2 1 3
J. Demers 6 0 3 5 3
M. Janmark 5 0 3 1 3
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Lehtonen 3 1 0 .911 2.27
A. Niemi 1 1 1 .870 3.36
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